Lately, there has been tremendous coverage regarding the best way to market to millennials, i.e. individuals between 18 to 34 years old. While these consumers are still important in terms of focusing marketing efforts, there is another generation that marketers should get to know, Generation Z. This group actually comprises the largest percentage of the population in the United States, according to Marketing Profs. This generation has yet to attain the age of 21, but they are already throwing their weight around in terms of influencing consumption as well as spending power. Mashable reports that individuals born in 1995 or later contribute approximately $44 billion to the U.S. economy.
Related: Why 'Gen Z' May Be More Entrepreneurial Than 'Gen Y'
Marketing Profs goes on to point out that 52 percent of Generation Z utilizes social media or YouTube for research purposes. Consequently, this generation is adept at locating information. This is also a generation that knows how to handle things on their own. More than three-quarters would like to convert their hobbies into full-time jobs. Almost as many, even though they are still in high school, want to be entrepreneurs in the future.
One of the greatest challenges of marketing to the older siblings or even parents of Generation Z is that they are so adept at social media. While millennials may be completely comfortable with everything online, Generation Z is even more fluent in how the Internet works.
Although it seems that millennials and Generation Z have a lot in common, there are several key ways in which they differ. In order to market to this generation successfully, you must understand these differences.
First, it must be understood that not all social media platforms are the same. The social media channels preferred by Generation Z tend to differ from those used by Millennials. Generation Z tends to favor Whisper, Snapchat and Secret as opposed to Facebook.
It is no secret that the attention span of consumers has been getting shorter and shorter. Generation Z is certainly no different. This generation has become accustomed to emoticons and auto-correct. In order to reach Generation Z, it is important to focus your marketing efforts on the use of visuals. Think infographics for disseminating large chunks of data in ways that will resonate with this demographic.
While millennials grew up multi-tasking with just two screens, Generation Z can easily switch back and forth between up to five screens, including television, phone, laptop, desktop and a portable music device.
When it comes to a preferred method of communication, Generation Z prefers texting, according to The Marketing Spot. In fact, this generation receives more than 3,000 texts on a monthly basis. Mobile video is also important to this generation, with teens in the Gen Z demographic watching twice as many videos on mobile devices as any other group.
Given the differences that exist between millennials and Generation Z, what can you do to reach this influential group of teenagers who is already wielding so much buying power?
While it may sound complicated, the marketing strategy for reaching them is actually not that difficult. Issue opt-in invitations into text marketing programs. Focus your marketing efforts on the creation of mobile video content specifically targeted toward the Generation Z age group. Send out links and provide options for sharing your mobile video content. Finally, make sure you focus on cross-platform campaigns that include the social media channels preferred by Generation Z, including Instagram.
Related: Start Preparing Your Business for the Generation After Millennials